Work your body, Save your Spine!

There are a few exercises that I believe no one should EVER do. These are exercises that the cost (potential for injury) FAR outweighs the benefit (potential for improvement).

Three of these exercises are the loaded sit up, the “superman”, and a loaded roman chair back extension (or leg lift).

“The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has recommended the lower limit of spinal compression to be 3300 Newton (336 kg force). In other words, doing exercises that have been scientifically proven to exceed 3300 Newton increases the chance of traumatic spinal compression.”

1 Newton is the force of Earth’s gravity on a mass of about 102 g = (1⁄9.81 kg).


Just to put it in perspective, a superman imposes at least 6000 newtons of compressive force on the spine, that’s 1,350 pounds of force!

These exercises either flex or extend the spine to the point of potential mechanical failure. Instead, focus on STABILITY exercise like the “stir the pot” or the “bird dog.”
Make smart decisions with your choices of exercise. Most exercises will make you a stronger person, but some have the potential to do the exact opposite.

It’s Your Turn. Emerge.

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